Top Stories: Deadline Quickly Approaching In Blue Cross-Texas Health Dispute | KERA News

Top Stories: Deadline Quickly Approaching In Blue Cross-Texas Health Dispute

Dec 22, 2016

The top local stories this morning from KERA News:

More than 150,000 customers could end up paying more for health care if Blue Cross Blue Shield and Texas Health Resources can’t settle a contract dispute by Jan. 1.

Texas Health Resources wants a five percent reimbursement increase. The hospital chain also wants to include its Southwestern Health Resources network in negotiations. But that increase could cost Blue Cross about $57 million, and North Texas customers and employers would end up paying more.

If a deal isn’t reached by Jan. 1, more than 800 clinicians and 29 hospitals could be out-of-network for Blue Cross Blue Shield members. Customers would then need to switch providers or face higher costs.

Other stories this morning:

  • 18 hospitals in North Texas will get less federal funding next year. That’s because patients at these hospitals and 48 others across the state are developing new infections, bed sores, and other injuries. The deductions are part of a program under the Affordable Care Act to encourage hospitals to lower the high rates of patients developing new conditions during their stay.
  • Texas had the biggest numeric population growth of any state this year. New estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau show the Texas population increased by almost 433,000 people from July of 2015 to July of this year. That brings the total state population to 27.8 million.
  • Our Big Screen team wades into the holiday movie debate.  

You can listen to North Texas stories weekdays at 8:22 a.m. and 6:20 p.m. on KERA 90.1 FM.